Many people think that chewing tobacco is safe because you aren’t inhaling the tobacco, but that’s not the case. More importantly, young men are trying it out, even while still in school, at alarming rates. It might be smokeless, but you need to know that it’s still tobacco and it will ruin your health.
Your Oral Health
Just because you aren’t smoking cigarettes doesn’t make tobacco safe. The American Cancer Society did a study of more than 100,000 men. Male smokers who quit smoking and went to smokeless tobacco instead had a higher death rate from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer than those who simply stopped.
Smokeless tobacco has been proven to lead to higher chances of oral cancer and cavities as well. A few other dangers are:
- Smokeless tobacco contains a minimum of 28 cancer-causing chemicals.
- Leads to cancer of the lip, mouth, pancreas and tongue.
- Increased risk of the voice box, colon, bladder and esophagus cancer due to the toxins that are swallowed from the juice.
- Irritation of the gum is prevalent, leading to gum disease.
- Sugar is added to many products which puts you at risk for tooth decay.
- Sand and grit are found in many smokeless products which wear down your teeth.
What You Must Do
If you use smokeless tobacco, you need to quit. There are four aspects to your addiction: sensory, physical, behavioral and psychological. All of these must be addressed for you to quit successfully. It may even take you several tries before your successful, but don’t give up.
Learn about the risks and work towards quitting before you die. If you know someone using smokeless tobacco products, especially children, you need to reason with them and save their life. If you are unsure how to quit or how to persuade someone else to stop, talk to Punta Gorda Dental Office.